12 Hours in Paris

train station feature

Traveling from London to Paris came with a lot of anxiety.  After the difficulty we had arriving into London customs, we were prepared for a damn inquisition leaving the UK and entering the Schengen again.  We could both feel it and we decided that we were only going to have a positive mental attitude the entire day.  We left plenty of time to travel into London Kings Cross Station to catch the Chunnel into Paris, but with extra time, comes extra time to worry.  So we challenged ourselves with thinking only the best thoughts.

When the time came, we lined up for the French border control.  It had been so long since I last took the Chunnel that I forgot you went through French customs on the UK side.  Jon strategically picked our line and the wait began, and the breath tightened up in the chest.  Eventually, it was our turn and Jon went first and handed his passport to the agent.  The border patrol looked at Jon, then flipped through his passport, grabbed his stamp and stamped him in.  I handed him mine, said, Bonjour, and just as quickly I got my stamp.  No questions asked, no being harassed, no showing off to his buddy, no hour long interrogation, just a stamp in.  It took so much in me to withhold a silly grin on my face.  Once again confirms how much we LOVE THE FRENCH.

gare du nord

Gare du Nord

We arrived to Gare du Nord with about 12 hours to enjoy Paris.  We checked into our hotel and began walking the streets of Paris.  It reminded me of my favorite movie, Sabrina, the Audrey Hepburn version.  There was a light rain falling, just as Hepburn prescribes Bogart arrange for his arrival to Paris.

We found a classic Parisian cafe to have a sit for dinner.  It felt as if we were starting our adventure again.  Another chapter in this trip has turned, another shift in lessons to be learned and experiences to be had.  Paris reminded us of the beginning, 7 months ago now.

cafe sit jessica

Croque monsieur and madame with Provence Rose.

cafe sit jon

We continued walking to our favorite spot in Paris, the Jardin des Tuileries, which was a completely different experience from winter time.  Flowers were in bloom, the trees provided green shade and the moisture in the air did in fact make Paris smell different in the rain.

touleries walk

Jardin Tuileries

Eventually you come to views of the Eiffel Tower.  It felt so surreal.  The sky looked like a soft pastel painting showing glimpses of Paris, with the Seine River sparkling in the distance from the setting sun.

Eiffel Tower


Being in Paris felt like a dream, yet familiar.  When you know which direction to turn, the sites are familiar, it feels natural to be where you are at, yet some thing feels slightly un-tangible.  It is the feeling of living in your dream and questioning if it really can be true.  Then car horns blast in the distance and you realize you didn’t wake up, in fact this dream is real, you are living it.




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